Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Homeschool Summer To-do List

Saw this at my parents' house...made me laugh. Such a typical summer to-do list for homeschoolers. I especially liked the last item on the list.

School options for Sammy have been on my mind this year. I really want her to do preschool a couple days a week, just to play and get social time, but I don't know if we can afford it. Mom brought up that I could do Joy School, or a preschool co-op, but I don't want to be social, I just want Sammy to be. I don't know if I'm that lady that organizes all the moms for stuff like that, and I have no idea who in our neighborhood I would even ask to do it with me. We just moved here a few months ago, and I really haven't clicked with anyone yet.

Also, I was thinking that I probably won't homeschool my kids. I really like structure and routine, and one of the most attractive things about homeschool is the freedom of it all. The freedom to explore whatever interests you, go on crazy roadtrips and fieldtrips when all the other kids are behind a chain link fence in the schoolyard, set your own schedule, and condense 7 drawn-out hours of school into 2. If I homechooled my kids I would probably be very structured, thus missing the point.

Of course, I have no idea how the public school system really functions. Maybe I'll hate sending my kids to school and decide to keep them home. Maybe I'll send my kids to public school and feel guilty the rest of my life for doing it, because all I heard growing up was how great homeschool was, and how unlucky those poor public school kids were.

Note to self: maybe you should take it one thing at a time and decide what to do with the preschool situation.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rainbow Pop

Can you spot the picture that is not like the others?

Why don't they make outfits like these for adults? I think it might be impossible to be sad while you are wearing rainbow stripeys.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Feathered Fiends

I have met the enemy, and they are Chickens. They make me nervous. Ever since my cousins and I tenderly raised a chicken from a teeny little egg to a cute fluffy chick named Percy to a killer bantam rooster with death in his eye who liked to spur and stab our legs til we durst not stir from the farmhouse without waders and a large stick for self-protection, I have had chicken issues.

Tonight my little brother, the chicken-keeper, is off camping so I was left in charge of putting my parents' herd of chickens in the coop for the night. "So how do I get them in, Joseph?" "Oh, they go in by themselves and you just have to close the door," he answered casually. Hmmm. Sounds suspiciously easy.

A few minutes ago I walked up to their fenced-in enclosure and let myself in. One chicken sauntered over to the gate I had opened and positioned herself there in the corner, her beady eyes following me as I ventured deeper into their domain. I hiked up my pajama pants and gingerly tiptoed around the plops of chicken poop. Shouldn't have worn flip-flops. I looked up to find 16 chickens watching me. "Shoo-shoo!" I pathetically flapped at them. A small contingent of younger chickens ran off. Weren't they all supposed to be cozily lined up in their coop? I gazed around and saw the group of younger chickens peering out at me from the shadows beneath the pine tree. Earlier they had probably huddled together in the coop, talking in their secret chicken language about their planned ambush. "The Weak One is left alone to care for us. We will count coup tonight!"

A branch broke and I whirled around. Were they closing in behind me? The chickens all scattered a pace or two and pretended to look at various small objects. I moved back towards the gate. The flock nonchalantly followed me, pausing to sharpen their talons on large rocks laying about. One particularly devious-looking chicken sidled closer to my leg. She seemed to be eyeing the two inches of skin exposed by my hitched-up scrubs. I could see a hungry gleam in her beastly eyes. Flesh! It was time to get the cuss out of there.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Garn One!

Who exactly is this mysterious balding man?

Well, my dear Watson, observe that he is wearing a NASA uniform and is posing with a small spaceship. We can deduce that A) he is really excited about the model rocket he just built or B) he is an astronaut. Actually, this fine, upstanding American is Jake Garn, Republican senator-turned-Astronaut. His extreme nauseousness in space has earned him everlasting fame as the inspiration behind the "Garn Scale," commonly used today at NASA.

"Jake Garn: "For those who don't know, it's a Garn One, Garn Two, Garn Three. It's a measurement of how sick you are."

"Basically, at Garn One, you feel pretty good. Garn Ten, you wish you were dead." (ksl)

It's been a Garn One day, people. I'm feeling good.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Curfew Will Not Ring Tonight!

I took a quiz once that was supposed to tell me whether I was a morning lark or a night owl. I really like taking quizzes, but the results were disappointing. Apparently I am part of a small category of people that are both. I really like staying up late at night. However, I'm really productive in the mornings. (Well, I used to be. My plans for getting up early and accomplishing things fizzle out when my children wake up earlier than 6.) So after the quiz I was no closer to understanding myself and how I work. Very disappointing.

Anyway, on Friday I stayed up late taking care of my children that just would not go to sleep, then I stayed up super late watching Hulu in the bathtub while eating chocolate. Can you tell my husband was gone? (Week 1 of a three week absence. Killer.) Not that I was missing him. In fact, I was pretty mad at him. He wouldn't return my calls and hadn't called me all day. While I was waiting by my phone and wrangling kids, Austin was probably out doing some wild partying with his fellow employees. (Or going out to get cupcakes with them like he did on Wednesday. These finance guys aren't exactly known for their wild partying.) In between my kid wrangling and chocolate eating, I decided that I didn't have to stand for this any more. I shot off an email to Austin about how it worries me when he doesn't call, it's not acceptable, and he should not even try to give me any excuses for his thoughtlessness.

Imagine my surprise when shortly after I went to bed at midnight, I heard a knock at the door. I jumped out of bed and was about to open the door when I thought I had better ask who it was. "Who is it?"
"Me," came a very tired voice. Yes, dear reader, it was my husband, who after hours of flying and one very delayed flight had shown up on our doorstep to surprise me. Note to self: The schedule of an owl and the brain of a lark is a dangerous combination. Perhaps I should have slept on that email.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Early Morning When I Wake Up, I Look Like Kiss

...but without the makeup. I'm a homemaker. What do I do all day? Here's an average day for me.

6:30 am: Cici wakes up, Sammy wakes up, we eat breakfast, read scriptures, get dressed.
7:30 am: Exercise--walk w/ girls or Wii Fit, or just clean up supper from the night before.
8:00 am: Cici down for morning nap, I shower, read books with Sammy, clean up, do prep work for other meals, sometimes Sammy watches a show while I shower (Television, the universal symbol of parenting failure. Oh well.) we listen to music, I check email, blogs, read the online news for the day, and/or work outside on our lawn.
10:00 am: Snack time, Cici wakes up, feed her, play with girls, work on project
du jour (usually sorting something) email people back, make phone calls
11:00 am: Lunchtime!
11:30 am: Naptime for Sammy! Cici and I hang out, I read books or blog
12:00 pm: Cici down for nap, I read scriptures and take a nap (Both vital! A nap is not a luxury!) Sometimes I write in journal or blog, watch a Tivo'd show, or read a book. (Just finished reading Amy Chua's "Tiger Mother." Must be a tougher Mom!) This is my rejuvenation time when both the girls sleep. When this doesn't happen, I get grouchy.
2:30 pm: Both girls wake up around this time. Snack time! We run to the library, grocery store, or park. Dinner prep, last minute tidy up before Austin gets home, I primp a little.
5:00 pm: Supper time!
5:30 pm: Family hang out time, walks, errands, bathtime, play with girls, read books, etc. Sometimes we clean up supper.
6:30 pm: Bedtime prep starts. Cici gets last feeding, girls in jammies, Sammy teeth brushed, songs, prayer. Cici gets plopped in crib; Mom counts Sam's bedtime rountine as part of Cici's.
7:00 pm: Blissful silence, punctuated by Sammy talking to herself and finding excuses to get out of bed.
8:00 pm: Girls more asleep. Mom and Dad hang out, watch tv, read, work on projects, etc.
10:00 pm: Sweet sleep! (unless I'm reading a really good book)

p.s. I noticed that I put exclamation marks for most naps and meals. I guess that's because we really like to eat and sleep

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Anti-Social Book Club Road Trip

Did you think we were really leaving the comfort and security of our houses? No, instead we are going to be reading about a road trip! A reeeealllly loooooong road trip. I've been wanting to read Marco Polo for a while. Then I saw him tucked amidst the other travel guides to different countries, which I thought was kind of an odd classification--I would have put him in biographies. So that piqued my interest, but when I opened up the book to find half a stick of wrapped gum inside the deal was sealed. Even if I don't enjoy the book, the pages will smell nice while I read it and I will have excellent breath when I'm done.

I think a translation of Marco Polo will be at most libraries. There are some fictionalized versions of Polo's journey out there, so watch out for those. I think there's also a two-volume translation available by Henry Yule. That sounds a bit too long for a summer read: I would stay away from that. Anyway, my book flap says that "The Travels of Marco Polo" was "chosen as one of the ten best adventure books of all time by National Geographic Adventure." Sounds exciting!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cops and Ant Exorcism

See this? This is my front door. Austin and I were out in our garage Saturday when our neighbor came over and told us that our front door had been open from Wednesday--Thursday. "Then I called the cops," she said, "Just to make sure no one had broken in or anything. The policeman went in and said no one was home, so he just closed the door." She sounded vaguely disappointed that our family hadn't been found lying murdered in a pool of blood. I explained to her that I had probably forgotten to lock it when we left and the wind must have blown it open.

Austin and I went inside, commenting to each other on how it was kind of freaky that our door was open that long, what a nice neighborhood we live in, etc. "Boy," I said. "I'm glad my house was clean!" Austin looked confused. "You know, for when the cops came over." Austin still looked confused. Perhaps he was wondering why I wasn't glad that our stuff hadn't been stolen or maybe just wondering if our house really had been clean because we had only been home for six hours and it was trashed.

In any case, when the cops come over to your house, you want it to be clean, and my house was clean, baby. It's kind of like if you break your leg and have to go to the hospital you want to have just showered and put clean underwear on. What are the odds? So I was pretty happy about that. I did wonder what the cops (one cop?) thought about the cinammon and corn starch sprinkled around my door and baseboards to repel invading ants. I've moved on to vacuuming them up now. I just felt kind of silly as I threw spices at the wall, like I should be chanting under my breath or yelling "Out, Damned Ants!" If I can vacuum them up faster than they can procreate I think we're good.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Woman So Heartless

I wish so much of parenting wasn't trial and error. Yesterday I gave Sammy a spank for--(Can't even remember! Ripping up a library book I think, but it could have been something else) I think most parents who spank do it to relieve their anger. I'm opposed to that, so I made sure I was calm and gave her a dispassionate spank, with the intent of teaching her that what I am saying is important! Not sure what I'm teaching her though...she made a super sad face and sobbed, "Don't Hit!" She's done this a few times. While I think that some kids might benefit from a spanking, I've realized that Sammy is not one of them. She's a sensitive little soul. (And really, aren't all small children?)

I'm liking this song. Want to listen?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Don't Know About You, But This Made My Day!


The hard drive has come back to life. Not sure how, why, or for how long. The bleak reality of life without a computer was setting in and now I have been given a reprieve. Really, what would I do if I didn't have a computer? (Rachael?) There are so many random things I look up during the day, addresses I find, library books I renew. I suspect that I would be a more useful person if I didn't spend so much time on the computer. Then again, I might go crazy.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

ASBC: Falling In Love

In Chapter 3, Ariely shares the oragami study. Short recap version: the people who made oragami artwork bid more for their creations than other people bid for them. Significantly more. We value the things we make, to the point where "we mistakenly think that others love our work as much as we do." This is why people will talk about their kids forever and I try not to, because really, does anyone care about my kids as much as I do? Of course not. I worry sometimes about sounding apathetic towards my decision to stay at home to raise my kids. But really, I enjoy saying that no one understands my children better than I do. Not even my husband.

"The effort involved in the building process is a crucial ingredient in the process of falling in love with our creations." I'd say those 9 months + childbirth were a lot of effort. I think that small babies are a lot of effort. I understand why you would look forward to returning back to work outside the home when you have on your hands a baby that sleeps, eats, poops, looks cute for a little while, then goes to sleep again. But I think the effort and service moms give during this time is as important as pregnancy in building a bond with their baby. I imagine it's true during all the formative years when you are creating a decent human being. The more effort you expend in "building" your little creations the more you fall in love with them.

I hope this makes sense because I don't have too much time...the hard drive went out on our computer so blogging may be sporadic. I hope you liked the book...I'll give you the next one in a little while.

ASBC: I Should Have Gone On Vacation

"People will suffer less when they do not disrupt annoying experiences, and enjoy pleasurable experiences more when they break them up. Any interruption, they guessed, would keep people from adapting to the experience, which means that it would be bad to break up annoying experiences but useful to interrupt pleasurable ones (Ariely 177-78)."

This means we should have gone on a cool vacation instead of buying a house. I've adapted to my house now; I guess I no longer get as much pleasure out of it as I did when we first bought it. Anyway, when we first moved in, I wanted to paint everything and buy furniture and artwork to fill up my beautiful house, Extreme Makeover style. But if I read correctly, I will get more joy out of slowly redecorating my house, room by room, year by year, because I'll be breaking up the pleasure and enjoyment of buying new things. That's good, because I can't afford Extreme Makeover.

One more personal insight. My intuition tells me to wait a while before we have another baby, otherwise I'll go crazy from the sleepless nights. Reading Chapter 6 tells me my intuition is wrong. I should have another child very quickly (if possible) because I've adapted to the disagreeable experience of getting no sleep. I guess you could go the other way and say welcoming a new baby into the family is a pleasurable experience (which it certainly is) so you should break it up. However, I see my parents trying to adapt to taking care of small children after so many years of grown up kids and am leaning towards grouping my years as a crazy woman together.